Kankakee superintendent gets raise

May 4, 2019

KANKAKEE — Kankakee Superintendent Genevra Walters is receiving a pay raise.

At a meeting this week, the Kankakee school board gave Walters a 4 percent retroactive increase for the current fiscal year and a 4 percent increase for the next one, which starts July 1.

Her pay will increase to about $287,000 per year, up from $266,000 currently.

The board approved a five-year contract for Walters.

In an interview, Walters said she would be eligible for retirement at the end of the five years, but that didn’t mean she would retire. She said her decision to stay beyond that period would depend on whether the community still wanted her as superintendent.

Her ultimate goal, she said, was to finish the renovation of the high school.

Board president Barbara Wells said members increased Walters’ pay because she oversaw the renovation of more than half of the high school with interest-free financing, a big increase in the graduation rate and the launching of a college and career curriculum.

“She has brought the district into the modern era,” Wells said.

In the April 2 election, incumbents Wells, Angela Shea and Chris Bohlen and newcomer Deb Johnston prevailed. The other members are Jess Gathing, Darrell Williams and Mary Archie.

At Tuesday’s meeting, the board re-elected Wells as the president and Jess Gathing as the vice president.

The votes on Walters’ contract and raise were taken before Johnston, the new member, took her oath of office.

Five years is the maximum term superintendent contracts can reach under state laws, and they typically are set for three years.

In March, the board approved a teachers union contract that gives 2 percent more salary for the current school year, going back to July. The following years, teachers are set to receive raises of 2.5 percent, 2.5 percent and 3 percent.

Also that month, the board voted for pay increases for 18 administrators, retroactively for the current year, ranging from 0 percent to 6 percent.